The pharmacological profile of a novel and newly discovered non-steroidal anti-inflammatory and analgesic compound, 3-(difluoromethyl)-1-(4-methoxyphenyl)-5-[4-(methylsulfinyl)phenyl]pyraz ole (FR140423), was investigated. In recombinant human cyclooxygenase enzyme assays, the inhibition of prostaglandin E2 formation by FR140423 was 150 times more selective for cyclooxygenase-2 than cyclooxygenase-1. Oral administration of FR140423 dose dependently reduced carrageenin-induced paw edema and adjuvant arthritis. These effects were two- to three-fold more potent than those of indomethacin. Unlike indomethacin, FR140423 did not induce mucosal lesions in the stomach. FR140423 showed dose-dependent anti-hyperalgesic effects in the yeast-induced hyperalgesic model. This effect was five-fold more potent than that of indomethacin. Furthermore, FR140423 increased the pain threshold in non-inflamed paws and, unlike indomethacin, it produced an analgesic effect in the tail-flick test. These analgesic effects were blocked by the mu-opioid antagonist naloxone. These results suggest that FR140423, a selective cyclooxygenase-2 inhibitor, is a potent non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) without gastrointestinal side effects and is a unique compound having morphine-like analgesic effects.
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